Egypt culture facts, Sobou El-Maoulod

Sobou El Mauloud

Sobou El-Maoulod is a very famous Egypt culture fact. The children right after they were born had certain spells recited and special rituals held for them.

These ceremonies were celebrated 14 and not 7 days after the delivery. It was said that the mother should spend this early post natal period.

Sobou El Maoulod
Egyptian culture, live image from Sobou El Maoulod

On the Westcar papyrus in Berlin dated back to the 12th Dynasty (3000 B.C.), a prescription was given to ensure the safety of the mothers and protection of the newly-born babies during the time of delivery, cleansing the baby, separating the placental cord and perfuming his clothes.

In room 24 of the Egyptians Museum in Cairo, a lady was depicted on an Ostraka, with a child sitting in front of her on a sieve patting him, with hieroglyphic inscription “hiro-shiry” or the birthday or child, or probably referred to the baby as Horus, no wonder since the Egyptian Museum has preserved several sieves.

These celebrations continued in the Islamic eras, since on Thursday 5th Dulhija 610 A.H. king Al-Dahir had a baby from his cousin Daifa Khatun the daughter of Al-Malik Al-Aziz Ghaiath El-Din whose father Al-Dahir celebrated this event, so that 10 leopards were cast in gold and silver, let alone many objects made of ebony and sandal wood, saddles adorned with jewels and three swords with ornamented handles.

In this occasion a poem was said by the poet Sharaf El Din Rajeh Al-Hily.

The new comer caused the universe to shine like the face of the king who became stronger; the whole world was blessed by the light of his smile, May God Bless the son, and father.

The infant 7th day celebration was call (Yashik Alay) or the Cradle procession in Turkey. It was a festival held when a baby was born for the Sultan.

A cradle was made of silver for the infant. His certificate of birth was written before the high-rank officials and dignitaries came to offer congratulations.

The mother was called and the cradle carried from the old palace to the new palace. In the Sixth day, the Sultan was to prepare a cradle ornamented with gold and jewels.

If the infant was a boy, a feather was fixed on top of the cradle. Special ceremonies were held for the occasion and very previous gifts offered to the mother.

The dignitaries of the state offered the presents to the Sultan.

In the Harem section of the palace festivals went on for three days, drums beaten and musical instruments played, the navy ships decorated, and delight cannonballs fired to announce a happy incident.

When he described a 19th Century sobou, De chaprol stated that the mother gathered with her friends, and the head servant led a procession holding a brass tray where candles were placed in circular shape.

The number of these candles was always equal to those ladies attending.

Sobou El Maoulod
The candle, one of the most important item of El Sobou

The midwife followed, escorted by two servants the youngest of whom carried a small brass stove, while the other carried a dish containing corn, beans, rice, salt, incense and lentil seed, and threw these seeds in each room in the house, then they went back with the tray to place it on a stool in the center of the room for the guests to come in turn to offer their gifts in cash received at the end of the party by the midwife.

They put gold coins around the head of the infant as gifts offered to him, or these coins were placed in expensive handkerchief under his head.

In another description for Sobou Gerardy Nerval stated that the next day of delivery, two or three dancers used to perform in front of the house.

Three or four days after delivery women prepared a variety of food and had a hot drink called “Mughat” prepared, candles lit and carried in a procession held by the Harim.

These candles were placed in Henna paste. Habet Al-Baraka and salt was thrown on the floor.

In this occasion women offered embroidered handkerchiefs with gold coins folded inside; while the latter were used decorate the hair of the infant.

In the Sobou evening a jar filled with water was placed near the cradle of the infant. The jar was decorated with an embroidered handkerchief.

Guests were offered water cups by the midwife. After forty days the mother would go to the public path to wash and purify herself.

A remarkable resemblance could be noticed between this tradition in ancient Egypt and that of the Islamic ages, where in both cases attention was given to the infant but while the ancient Egyptians made the celebration after fourteen days, the Muslims held it after one week.

However a relationship links the two numbers since the former is a multiplication of the latter, which implies something to combine then together.

This habit considers as one of the most important habits of Egyptian culture.